Opponents of the Keystone pipeline proposed for the Great Plains states are taking aim at a Wisconsin company that's helping build a segment of the pipe.The Keystone XL pipeline would carry tar sands crude oil from Canada to the Texas coast.
The Obama administration has blocked the building of much of the pipeline, but a section from Cushing, Oklahoma to Texas is being constructed, with the help of the Michels Corporation of Brownsville, Wisconsin. Last week, a group of climate activists took part in a series of national protests against Keystone and held an unannounced speak-out at the Michels building. Protestor Kevin Suemnicht of Milwaukee says Michels is partly responsible for helping bring very dirty oil to the U.S., at a high price for any jobs being created, "There are no jobs on a dead planet. There are other energy options."
Suemnicht says his group will try to keep the heat on the Michels firm. Michels declined comment but had the pipeline operator, Transcanada get back to us. Transcanada spokesman David Dodson says the pipeline segment Michels is building now, is for U.S. oil, "Ultimately we hope to this pipeline will move Canadian crude oil. Now, it's light, domestic sweet crude."
Dodson declines to comment about the tar sands oil extraction process in Canada, that environmental groups have heavily criticized. Dodson says he sees no reason that the Michels Corporation wouldn't be a candidate to build the rest of Keystone XL, if President Obama approves the project later this year.